portraits

These days with  phone photography we take a lots of selfies so you would think that a project that required one to make a self portrait would be quite easy. Wrong!

I have played with photos for weeks trying this filter or that or some other photoshop  practice... and I still come up with photos that show me as grim or with more wrinkles than I care to admit.   So I gave up and tried making one of my grandson... albeit from a year old photograph. But I used a process described  in a photoshop tutorial of how to make a drawing from a photo.  The process is quite lengthy but straightforward and the result for this photo I think is pretty wonderful. 

lucas drawing-1.jpg

It is now a favourite and has become my desktop wallpaper. 

I gave up trying to make one of me until I found a photo that when using the sketch filter on torn edges gave me  an interesting two colour image, that then encouraged me to turn it into a fabric portrait. I had been reading a wonderful book from the library called People and Portraits collected by Martha Sielman. All the portraits in the book are made by art quilters and the variety and quality is astounding. I had many favourites but the ones that really inspired me were made by   Margene Gloria May.  

 Mine doesn't look anything like hers... which is not surprising given how I do things, grin... and actually you will have to just imagine how this, dare I say first fabric portrait was done, for I forgot to take photos...  before I sent it to an art challenge, but if you are interested the book is a way better inspiration if you too want to capture yourself or a loved one in fabric.

  

combinations

One of the things I think about often is the notion , we used to call it  the theme of the work but now it seems to be  more about the artist's  passion or starting exploration point.  I see this as the artist's reason why we should look, think  about or even appreciate the work.

 I also think this comes from having to defend you work to other artists. To analyze your work for an academic grade , which is also teaching  you about art, and to make the lay person think it is important  even if the work doesn't engage her as  a viewer, or more simply  to explain the work that seems incomprehensible. 

I have trouble with this kind of thinking because I don't plan my work to start with.  It just begins to happen and I follow it where it leads me. So I have taken to thinking about this after it is complete, or nearly complete.  Thus the whole way of approaching a place to show your work, to be able to explain it enough or in the best light to intrigue a panel of judges, or convince a gallery to take it on is,  a talent I have yet to cultivate.

A few years ago I did some pieces that were simply stitched lines in various thicknesses with various threads.  I  just really liked them they were fun to do and I thought them rather minimalistic. But to enter them into a possible gallery show I came up with the thought that they were an exploration of line.  One piece I framed and had it ready as an example of my style of work. It wasn't accepted but that  can be because of many reasons and I never think it means the work is not good! 

line painting with thread-1.jpg

 I did another two pieces that I though might make up part of a series , but they didn't really tell me that they were done. 

In the last few weeks I've been combining these two with some of my small bits hand sewed last summer that have been waiting for a home. And once again I like what is happening. It is still in progress, but thought it might be worth a look. 

combination 1-1.jpg

Sitting still

Today I have been sitting still, here, as I always am in my small house looking out the window at my spruce forest...  Just to be clear I do live in the city but it has been said that I have a little piece of Kananaskis in my own yard... and I do   there are 13 spruce trees in my front yard... and I still have room for some flowers.... more about that another time... grin...

I was, some would say blog hopping, as I drank my tea but I prefer a term My brother in-law uses, " noodling around"  cause it is kind of aimless and I began to feel just a little envious of all those wonderful words and pictures others always manage to post. So I did what I usually do. Stopped looking and picked up my own paper journal and this thought came to me almost right away. 

" I have spoken with the world today."    That made me feel instantly better and prompted me to share it all here too.  I am a lucky woman, sitting here quietly in my own lovely yard and still being able to see, read, and share  what others are thinking and focusing on where ever they are at the moment.

My first message came from my friend who is traveling with her daughters in Greece.

My second "ping" was from my second daughter sending a photo of her view from her hotel room in Hong Kong.  I sent her some photos of my usual trees but also managed to capture by accident the wee new red squirrel that has just put in her first appearance in our small forest oasis.

I sent the same photo to my first daughter in Kelowna, B.C. so she could share it with my grandson. After all he was the one who named the mother squirrel, we have watched all winter, Chippy. 

I then looked at photos from Ireland, and some from the USA, and some stunning food photos on one of my favourite sites   turmericnspice.com  .  

Then I decided it was time to get going on my own mound of work...  all the while remembering just how lucky I am to be living in this age where we can instantly share  not only our thoughts but our photos of our daily moments.

mound-1.jpg

new small pieces

I have been sewing small pieces again .  Catching up with a previous post I showed you one of my fabric postcards that  has gone to a quilt exhibit in Victoria . The second one is more subtle and I call it Spring breakup.

 fabric pieces covered with a white lace paper

fabric pieces covered with a white lace paper

  This one will likely be a fabric book cover. 

book cover-1.jpg
book cover-2.jpg

 Colour is brighter here.  I printed one of my paintings onto a fusible interfacing and have hand stitched some enhancements.  The interfacing has a slightly rough texture so the painting is a little blurry, but I think it looks cool.  I love ribbons and they add  just a little something extra .

Here's a detail shot.

book cover-3.jpg